Being prepared starts with knowing what to do after a car accident. At Bear Creek Towing in Golden, we know that accidents happen and even a minor fender bender can be pretty upsetting. It’s hard to think straight and figure out your next steps to get the help you need for both you and your vehicle.
Today, we’ll focus on those first moments – before our towing professionals arrive and even before the police arrive to assist with the situation.
First, it’s best to have a road safety kit inside of your vehicle at all times. You should include reflective safety triangles, flares, blankets, snacks, and other items that will assist in the event of an accident. Be sure to have your emergency contact list available both on your cell phone and written down inside of your car just in case you need it.
Now, in case the unthinkable happens, follow these guidelines after a car accident:
If at all possible, stay calm. Immediately following an accident, you will feel the effects of adrenaline in your system. It is best to breathe deeply and try to calm down.
If your car can still be driven, pull off to the side of the road. If not, leave it where it is. Next, turn off the engine and turn on the hazard lights. If and when it’s safe – and if you’re not injured – exit the vehicle to start gathering information. Don’t admit fault or assign blame, remain neutral.
If you, your passengers or anyone else involved are experiencing any injuries, call 911 immediately. If you are not hurt, you can assist those who are. Just remember, never relocate an injured person, unless they are in immediate danger (e.g. the vehicle is on fire).
Call the Police
Having a police report is essential when filing an insurance claim. The accident needs to be legally documented, so ask to file a report. After describing the accident to the police on the phone, they may tell you that an officer does not need to be present.
Assess the Situation
If everyone is ok physically, and help is on the way after a car accident, you can start documenting the scene. Take photos of all of the vehicle damage and surroundings if it is safe to do so.
Avoid discussing fault or even saying “I’m sorry” as this can later be used as an admission. With pen and paper or your cell phone record:
- Date, time, and location, nearest mile marker, signs, and exits
- Name, telephone number, email address, mailing address of all vehicle occupants
- License plates
- Insurance company name, contact information, phone number and email, name on the policy, policy number
Call for a Tow
After all these steps, if your vehicle is inoperable, call a local towing company. Depending on your car insurance coverage or roadside assistance policy, you may be towed to the nearest mechanic, your auto shop of choice, or your home. Checking on that ahead of time can save you some money.
File a Claim
Call your auto insurance company as soon as you can. Your insurance agents are there to help you when you need it. Based on your policy, they will direct you in regards to next steps after a car accident.
If you’ve been in a car accident here in Evergreen, Conifer, West Golden or the surrounding mountain areas, please don’t hesitate to give us a call 24/7. One of our towing professionals will be there to assist you during one of the most challenging situation drivers face.